PDA

View Full Version : 2009 RS HAM Radio Field Day Weekend


Groucho
06-29-2009, 07:42 AM
This was a great event. All in all we had 15-17 people show up over the course of the two days.

Bruce, Emilee and I left to get camp setup about 0930 on Friday morning. We got to Clear Lake CG about 1300. Greg Lure Showed up to help setup shortly after. We had a little rain right after we got there, but then it cleared up and we had awesome weather all the rest of the time.

Greg, Bruce and I set up the CM inspection tent over the picnic table, and put the HF rig on the end. We got the radios running about 1700. The Tri-Band (10, 15 and 20M) beam antenna :yagi: was on the tower at about 35 feet up. We also ran the 40M dipole as an inverted-V off the tower about 30 feet up.

About the time that the antennas were up, Bruce (Jethro--WJTR), Tim (Nakman--KNAK) and Gavin (Future Prez) arrived for the fun. Here is Gavin looking for just the right spot to put their popup. (Very similar to the American Indian way to use metal rods to find water)

13480

Where we were located gave us good north-south paths, but trying to go east-west we had mountains in the way. Friday afternoon started slow, but after dinner 20M started to open up and we ended up talking to a large number of Russians and even one contact made to Israel. After (finally) finishing off the keg of homebrew I brought, we all hit the sack.

Saturday morning brought John (Johnindenver--KDDCU) with his little one (Sorry John, I forgot his name) and we got John on the air. Since field day didn't officially start until Noon our time, things were a little dead, and we heard Fred in North Dakota talking about how it was windy and cold.

13478
13479

Then Heather (KDDCW) and Brian (Seldom Seen--KCYRM) drove in and set up. Brian had a lot of fun on the radio. He made a lot of contacts on both 20 and 40M. Heather got on using Brian's callsign, and with Bruce's help, made several contacts on HF. She was kind of a commodity, being female, as there aren't a huge number of female operators, so people seemed to return her call over the other males in our group. Tim got on and made his contact, but Jethro was content watching the fun and making sure we had enough suds!

Here is the setup with the tower on the CM trailer, and if you look hard you can see the 40M dipole. Romer's generator made more than enough power and ran almost the whole time (we had to quit at 2200 due to the CG not allowing the generator to run past then) and i think it only used 3 gallons of gas for almost 20 hours of run time. Thanks Romer.
13481

We all had lots of fun, and learned a little about what we would do differently for next year. Maybe even move the location over to Argentine Pass and have the spot a central location to combine the trail cleanup with the Field Day.

Thanks to everyone who helped set-up, tear-down, move stuff, cook dinners, and chat on and off the air. It was a nice relaxing weekend with some good food, friends and HAM radio fun!! See you all in 2010!!:thumb:

Groucho
06-29-2009, 07:49 AM
One of the kids having fun...

13483

Two looking down on the camsite from my short hike up the hill...

13484
13485

One of the evening sky Saturday...

13486

And one more of the kids saying bye...

13487

DaveInDenver
06-29-2009, 07:49 AM
Really bummed I could not make it up Saturday, very long week days make for too few and much too short weekend days. :-/ I did ragchew with K0NAK on his way up and K9BVB Friday afternoon on the commute home, so I got that going for me.

nakman
06-29-2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks for putting this together, Nathaniel! We had a great time and would have loved to stay for the second night, but alas life was calling. Was fun to tune that big HF rig around and listen to everyone, yeah next year we'll do it higher up and it'll be that much better. http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/smileys/tinfoilhat1.gif

Groucho
06-29-2009, 08:21 AM
Really bummed I could not make it up Saturday, very long week days make for too few and much too short weekend days. :-/ I did ragchew with K0NAK on his way up and K9BVB Friday afternoon on the commute home, so I got that going for me.

Don't you hate it when that happens? I feel my weekends are busier than my workweek. Next year, Dave. Or maybe you want to do the 14er HAM event with me?

Thanks for putting this together, Nathaniel! We had a great time and would have loved to stay for the second night, but alas life was calling. Was fun to tune that big HF rig around and listen to everyone, yeah next year we'll do it higher up and it'll be that much better. http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/smileys/tinfoilhat1.gif

You bet!!:thumb: Here is a picture of you making your contact...
13488
Emilee wearing the famous Cheeseman hat after setup was complete...
13489
Cheeseman calling the XYL in Washington.
13490
"No dear, I'll be at the airport on time at 9PM. Yes dear. What's that you say dear? Plane is going to be late? Ok, I'll make sure things are ready." Hangs up phone. "Hey guys, I got another hour to hit the suds!" :woot:


Setting up the tower Friday...
13491

Kids eating some eggs, sausage and potatoes Saturday morning. Boy were they ever mistreated...
13492

DaveInDenver
06-29-2009, 08:35 AM
Or maybe you want to do the 14er HAM event with me?
I was thinking about doing a 14'er this year, but you might not (or maybe?) like to do what I'm thinking. The ham event is Aug 9, which will be the second day of our summer hit trip. We're doing Uncle Bud-Skinner-Betty Bear, so it makes the most sense to either just listen from the huts or maybe summit something near Leadville. The problem is that the only 14'er anywhere our route would be Mt Massive and won't be near that until Sunday night. So maybe an almost 13'er, Galena Mountain?

RicardoJM
06-29-2009, 08:36 AM
Looks like a great time was had by all. The ham shack seemed to be void of whitey tightys - whats up with than? It was nice to make contact with you on Sunday as we were rolling into our lunch spot. Nathaniel, thanks for coordinating this and giving everyone the opportunity to experienced Field Day. :thumb:

TheBoomBoom and I put out a call on 145.145 about 2:30 Saturday afternoon while running around town. The repeater was so quiet you could hear the crickets, real unusual for 145.145. The ham that answered our call indicated we were the first people on frequency in two hours. He was heading to a field day event, did not have directions to the site and figured his group were not near their 2m rigs. Hope he made it to his destination.

rover67
06-29-2009, 07:36 PM
sounds like you guys had a good time! I drove up mount evans on saturday and tried 146.460 a few times and could not raise any folks at the field day... looks like you may have not been monitoring 2M though. I was trying with my vx-7r and a small antenna so maybe that was the reason. either was it was neat trying while we were standing on the top!

If we do it again next year we'll have to make it a point to attend... maybe I'll convince the folks it's a good time to break in the camping gene.

I did get a hold of a few folks on spring creek which was super cool. Thanks Bill K9BVB!!

Caribou Sandstorm
06-29-2009, 11:20 PM
Wish I could have made it also. I was swamped at home, we are selling our volvo wagon and I had to detail and set up the car seats in the VW camper van..No time to install my Ham radio yet. But I did finally get the correct antenna. We will be there for sure next year. That set up looked awesome!

Hulk
06-30-2009, 12:54 AM
That looks so cool. What a great setup. Nathaniel, we are lucky to have you as our Elmer! I would have loved to have been there. Have my General ticket and still never used it on anything other than 2m and 70cm (and hardly any of the latter).

Nathaniel, what radio is that I see K0NAK using? I'm jonesing for more equipment, after the success of my j-pole install on my roof.

I spent the weekend tending to my wife, recovering from knee surgery and hopped up on pain killers.

Groucho
06-30-2009, 05:41 AM
Nathaniel, what radio is that I see K0NAK using? I'm jonesing for more equipment, after the success of my j-pole install on my roof.


13494

It is an Icom 765. It is a big radio, but its receive is great and it punched through with the best of them.

We were kinda astounded by the performance, especially with the 40M dipole. Friday night we hooked up the dipole, and we didn't hear anything but crickets. I thought it was because we didn't have it high enough, or that one of the legs of the dipole wasn't as tight as it should be. So we decided to stay on 20M and that band opened up to Russia, signals going over the north pole. We talked to St. Petersburg, and even Israel!

Well, on Saturday night right about dinnertime and just out of curiosity (which all HAMs come standard with after a while), I hooked the dipole back up. Wow! Field Day had everyone and their brother on 40M! I made 5 contacts with folks all over in a matter of minutes! All on a limp noodle of a dipole.

The 20M beam (Yagi :yagi:) is easy to make work good, as long as dimensionally it is set up good. The dipole can be a hit or miss, and we seem to hit! Next time, we learn from this time and get higher, with less obstructions, more antennas and more radios!! 13495:cheers:

Mendocino
06-30-2009, 10:47 AM
This looks like a great time; sorry I missed it.:o

Beater
06-30-2009, 11:10 AM
you guys are a bunch of geeks

bh4rnnr
06-30-2009, 11:41 AM
Will plan on making next years event, looks like to much fun!

Hulk
06-30-2009, 07:26 PM
you guys are a bunch of geeks

Takes one to know one, brutha. I seem to recall a discussion of vintage hammers in your workshop. :D